Philadelphia-born coffee roaster and retailer La Colombe Coffee Roasters (formerly La Colombe Torrefaction) is entering into a partnership with Whole Foods Market that will result in at least two in-store La Colombe-owned cafes, wholesale supply and barista training, and expanded lines of coffee products in Whole Foods stores.
In an announcement today, the Amazon-owned grocery chain said the two new La Colombe locations will be coming to existing Whole Foods Markets in Austin, Texas (N. Lamar) and New York City (Bowery district). The New York location will include an on-site coffee roastery.
Those shops will be owned and operated by La Colombe under Whole Foods’ “Friends of Whole Foods Market” program, which involves in-store branded retail partnerships.
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Beyond the two “Friends” shops, La Colombe will also provide wholesale training services for Whole Foods cafes in several United States regions, including the Rocky Mountain and the North Atlantic, according to the company. Within the past year, Whole Foods has already opened five La Colombe -branded, WF-owned cafes within its stores in Colorado and the Boston area.
La Colombe will also be benefitting from national distribution of coffee products in Whole Foods stores, including its popular canned “Draft Latte” and five blends that all have French names.
Whole Foods, which has owned and sold Denver-based Allegro Coffee since 1997, has increasingly drifted towards carrying coffee products from national coffee brands, as opposed to products from local roasters, since it was acquired by Amazon for $13.7 billion in 2017.
In-store and online, some of La Colombe’s most prominent neighbors in the coffee product category include names such as Allegro, Starbucks, Peet’s, Stumptown, Intelligentsia, Illy, and other national and international brands.